Given that the average person can survive for a short three to five minutes without breathing, the importance of clean air should not be underestimated. However, in light of the number of toxins that fill the atmosphere, it can be hard to breathe easily when you consider the pollutants we consume on a daily basis – especially for those with respiratory health issues. Or athletic individuals aiming to increase lung function! Offering an unexpected support lung system are the Welcare Breatheasy Breathing Trainers. Here’s what happened when we tried it out …
Let’s start by clearing the air
We certainly surprised our inner cynic by discovering such devices existed. Surely, we don’t need a machine to help us breathe! Well, it turns out some people do, which is where the Welcare Breatheasy Breathing Trainers come in. Available in three grades, the low-resistance breathing trainer is suitable for the rehabilitation of lung function for people with certain respiratory illnesses, or younger children; the moderate resistance breathing trainer an excellent option for healthy people and adults (including former smokers) recovering from certain respiratory illnesses; and the advanced resistance breathing trainer aimed at athletes and sporting people who want to improve their overall health and increase lung function and endurance.
Regardless, every single “drug-free lung expansion” device is designed to increase the volume of and strengthen and improve overall function of the lungs. A big claim for a device that was so small I could discreetly fit into into my purse.
Which Welcare breathing trainer was right for me?
Given that it’s been a while since I blew out single-digit candles on my birthday cake. Nor have I ever been a smoker, I opted to experiment with the advanced resistance breathing trainer. While I would certainly not consider myself an athlete, I often struggle with breathlessness through my regular workouts. An element of my wellness routine that I hoped could be improved with the addition of a breathing device.
How does a breathing trainer work?
With the device set up, I adhered to instructions to “sit in an upright position, set the resistance to level 0 to start, place the mouthpiece between my lips and inhale quickly and deeply and exhale slowly.” In light of the lack of attention one usually affords to their breathing, it was an unusual, albeit not uncomfortable sensation. The remaining directions required me to complete “30 breaths in a row.” However, with my notoriously limited lung capacity I struggled, and only managed 20. While some what disheartened, I discovered that this was a relatively normal reaction
My suggestion? Supplement with a little light reading of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor – an audiobook that explains the importance of taking 25,000 healthy breaths a day.
So, did I improve? Let’s take a deep breath and find out…
It took a few days (with sessions in both morning and night), but I was soon able to attain the lucrative 30 breaths, with relative ease. At which point I turned the resistance adjustment clockwise to increase the resistance level, then repeated. However, the true test was going to be my capacity to clock 5 kilometres on the treadmill without completely crashing.
Any gains should not have come as a complete shock, given that IMT or Inspiratory Muscle Training (the routine I had just unofficially completed) has scientifically backed several benefits. Some studies suggested a four-week IMT training program improved the inspiratory muscle strength in athletes as well as their 800-metre running performance. With another which looked at the power of IMT warm-up exercises before a race revealing it “delivered an enhanced performance across 3,200 metres and a reduction in breathlessness”
And, while I can’t claim that the Welcare transformed me into Sam Kerr, some of the benefits of the breath trainer were undeniable. These included improved oxygen efficiency, enhanced endurance, increased lung capacity, better breath control, reduced breathlessness, and stress reduction. I also found myself recovering faster, experiencing fewer injuries and just generally experiencing a more effective and enjoyable exercise routine. A device that delivered what it promised. It was certainly a breath of fresh air!
The Welcare Breatheasy Breathing Trainer retails for $79.95 at welcare.com.au.